Working Long Hours May Increase Risky Drinking: Study

Employees who work more than 48 hours a week are almost 13 percent more likely to engage in risky drinking, compared with those who work less, a new study suggests.

The study considered risky drinking to be more than 14 drinks a week for women, and more than 21 drinks weekly for men. The researchers noted drinking this much could increase the risk of health problems including cancer, liver disease, heart disease, stroke and mental disorders.

Full story of working hours and drinking at drugfree.org

Positive Workplace Drug Tests for Marijuana, Cocaine Sharply Dropped Since 1988

Positive workplace tests for marijuana and cocaine have dropped sharply since 1988, while tests revealing prescription drug abuse are increasing, according to a study by the medical-testing company Quest Diagnostics Inc.

The findings come from a review of more than 125 million urine drug tests conducted from 1988 through 2012. Last year, 3.5 percent of samples were positive, down from 13.6 percent in 1988. About three-quarters of tests were conducted for pre-employment screening.

Between 2002 and 2012, positive tests for amphetamines, including prescription drugs such as Adderall, more than doubled. From 2005 to 2012, positive tests for Vicodin increased 172 percent, while those positive for OxyContin increased 71 percent. Workers tested after they have been involved in an accident on the job show higher levels of painkiller use.

“Even when used under prescription, these drugs can have an impact on workplace safety,” Barry Sample, director of drug-testing technology for Quest, told The Wall Street Journal.

The decrease in positive marijuana tests may be due in part to workers becoming better at passing drug tests, according to the article. Labs are trying to reduce the number of people who use other people’s urine to pass drug tests, by experimenting with oral swabs and hair tests.

Full story of workplace drug testing at DrugFree.org

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Tidy Desk or Messy Desk? Each Has Its Benefits

Working at a clean and prim desk may promote healthy eating, generosity, and conventionality, according to new research. But, the research also shows that a messy desk may confer its own benefits, promoting creative thinking and stimulating new ideas.

The new studies, conducted by psychological scientist Kathleen Vohs and her fellow researchers at the University of Minnesota are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

“Prior work has found that a clean setting leads people to do good things: Not engage in crime, not litter, and show more generosity,” Vohs explains. “We found, however, that you can get really valuable outcomes from being in a messy setting.”

In the first of several experiments, participants were asked to fill out some questionnaires in an office. Some completed the task in a clean and orderly office, while others did so in an unkempt one — papers were strewn about, and office supplies were cluttered here and there.

Full story of benefits of a clean desk at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Unattractive People More Likely to Be Bullied at Work

It’s common knowledge that high school can be a cruel environment where attractive students are considered “popular,” and unattractive kids often get bullied. While that type of petty behavior is expected to vanish with adulthood, new research proves it does not.

Colleagues can be just as immature as classmates.

The study by Timothy Judge, professor of management at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, and Brent Scott from Michigan State University is the first to link attractiveness to cruelty in the workplace.

In “Beauty, Personality, and Affect as Antecedents of Counterproductive Work Behavior Receipt,” recently published in Human Performance, the researchers examine counterproductive work behavior and its effect on employees. They show that physical attractiveness plays as much of a role as personality in how a person is treated in the workplace.

The researchers surveyed 114 workers at a health care facility, asking them how often their co-workers treated them cruelly, including saying hurtful things, acting rudely and making fun of them. Through digital photos, the workers’ “attractiveness” was then judged by others who didn’t know them.

Full story of unattractive people getting bullied at work at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

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Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education